Open Science Labs Mentor Guide

The Open Science Labs Mentor Guide is a consolidated resource designed to guide potential mentoring organizations through the proposal and application process, and to support approved mentors in fostering intern development. From project submission to nurturing intern growth, and facilitating their successful contributions to open source, this guide outlines the key steps and best practices to ensure a rewarding mentorship experience in our community-driven programs.

Part I: Applying to Become a Mentoring Organization

As a prospective mentoring organization within Open Science Labs, you have the opportunity to shape the future of open source by guiding and nurturing new talent. Your contributions, in the form of project ideas and mentorship, are crucial to the development of both individual contributors and the larger community. This section of the guide will walk you through the application process and help you submit your project proposals effectively.

Application Process

When the call for mentoring organizations opens, you are encouraged to apply with a detailed outline of all the project ideas. A 'project' constitutes a well-defined proposal targeting a specific software, package, or library with distinct tasks. While there is no limit to the number of projects you can propose, please note that OSL reserves the right to approve only a subset based on our capacity and strategic focus. For Cycle 2, tied to GSoC, a maximum of two projects may be submitted per organization.

Important Note: Inclusion in GSoC for Cycle 2 is not a certainty, and OSL will provide updates on this option once GSoC confirmations are received.

Part II: Recommendations for Approved Mentors

Congratulations on being selected as a mentor for the OSL Internship/Apprenticeship Program! You are about to embark on a rewarding journey of imparting knowledge and facilitating growth. This part of the guide is crafted to support you in leading an effective mentorship, outlining key activities and providing practical tips for fostering a successful internship experience.

Conducting Effective Mentorship

  • Proposal Guidance: Assist the intern candidate in drafting a comprehensive proposal for the program, detailing expected tasks and outcomes.
  • Regular Meetings: Schedule consistent meetings (weekly or biweekly) with the intern to discuss progress, challenges, and next steps.
  • PR Reviews and Direction: Regularly review the intern's pull requests to ensure they're aligned with the project's direction and maintain progress within set timelines.
  • Blog Post Guidance: Guide the intern in documenting their journey by writing biweekly or monthly blog posts on, highlighting accomplishments and learnings.
  • Timeline Management: Keep the intern informed of all important dates and ensure they complete evaluations on time.
  • Presentation Preparation: Support the intern in preparing a talk about their project, which can be delivered within the OSL community or at relevant events.

Additional Tips

  • Extra Resources: If an intern is struggling with certain concepts, recommend additional study materials to aid their understanding.
  • Technical Advice: Offer technical insights to enhance the intern's performance and productivity, ensuring they contribute high-quality work to the project.

Mentoring with OSL is not just about overseeing work; it's about nurturing a new generation of open source contributors. Your wisdom, experience, and encouragement will help interns realize their potential and ensure they make a meaningful impact on the open source community.